|Full time RVers Thom and Dar Hoch (Julianne Crane)|
Dar and her husband, Thom, retired in 2007. Since then they have been living full time in their 2007 39-foot Newmar Kountry Star motor coach traveling throughout North America.
During the winter months, the Hochs, of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, migrate south to the Coastal Bend of Texas.
“We knew in advance of starting this lifestyle that we’d have to do some kind of work along the way,” said Dar.
Three years ago, Dar, a registered nurse, found a per diem position at the Care Regional Medical Center in Aransas Pass, Texas. Now, during their winter stay, she dons her uniform and reports three days a week for 12-hour shifts.
“Being an RN it’s helpful to keep your fingers in the profession on a regular basis," said Dar. And, "due to large increases in private health insurance after our first year on the road, it was time for me to look for work.”
"Most hospitals want at least a three-month commitment," said Dar. "It is to our advantage to earn some income working only three months, that way the rest of the year can be spent with family and seeing the country."
Dar's advice to other nurses looking for work while living on the road:
"There are different ways for medical professionals, not just RN's, to go about finding work while traveling:
1) Work through an agency - There are a number of traveling nurse and other medical profession agencies that can help find one work almost anywhere around the country. Choose where you want to spend a few months and they will place you.
2) Research on your own what is available in the area you spend time – Smaller hospitals, nursing homes, etc. often don't use agencies and instead hire per diem (per day)."
Dar researched what was available in the Coastal Bend of Texas (on-line, phone book, talking to RV park management). She made contact, decided what was the best fit for her and filled out applications.
"It didn't take long to find myself sitting in hospital orientation," she said.
One final piece of advice from Dar: "RNs need to look on-line into whether or not the state they are licensed is part of the 30 states currently in the Compact States. Nurses licensed in any one of the Compact States can work in any other of the listed states without having to apply for and pay for another license in that state."
The Hochs chronicle their journey online at "Thom and Dar's RV Sabbatical Journal," tdhoch.blogspot.com.
For more articles by Julianne Crane click on RVWheelLife.com.
Photos by Julianne Crane